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of religion and freedom of the press. secondly, it is the economics and the bonds that bind us together. the united states represent about one fourth of the world's gross domestic product. the nations of europe represent more. nato is about 50% of the gdp. it is $4 trillion per year across the atlantic. so i think the transatlantic connection has an important economic component as well. third, geography does matter. sometimes people say to me, they are the bastions of the cold war. i would counter by saying that it's not. they are forward operating bases in the 21st century. they allow us to extend support from eucom in that area as well. fourth, i would say that nato would serve together around the world is a wide variety of missions that we can talk about this morning. fifth and finally, nowhere else in the world will we find such an elite and capable group of allies who have the technology, the training, the levels to help us. we need to encourage our european partners to spend more on defense. i do that consistently, i'm glad to talk about that today. but i do believe these connecti
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